HOW TO: WIN AT UNI AND CHANGE THE TYPICAL CAREER PATH

CANTA issue #11, 2017

Once I complete my degree, life is sorted. That’s all there is to it huh? So how am I going to get a job with the same Psychology degree that 300 others in my class also have? I went to University to learn how to learn didn’t I? Well if we are all there to learn how to learn then why are we all aspiring to do the same thing. There are a large portion of students studying because you need that piece of paper to get the foot in the door. We understand. The job market is tough. But what if there was another way? The 9-5 is secure, it is safe, it is the norm, it is for everyone. Or is it? Why does it have to be this way?

Why is it the default so many blindly follow? If you’re lucky, you’ve seen a family friend get that age-old degree, climb the ranks and now have it all. “The kiwi dream”. The white picket fence, four-bedroom house with the boat and the batch. Sweet life huh. What if the future didn’t have four bedroom homes, batches or boats. What if we could have it all another way. You’ve studied Civil Engineering. You’ve learnt how to make a bridge across the Avon. The light is at the end of the tunnel. You are going to rocket into a career Mof bridge building and feature on Mega-Structures. But wait, there are no new bridges being built in NZ? We can’t even figure out how to solve our transport problems. Don’t even mention putting in light rail to connect people.

It’s time to head out into “the Grind”. Get a good job, girlfriend, married, house kids, eat, work, kids, repeat. But wait. We live in a world that’s more connected than ever before. What if I could work in San Francisco? Travel, live work and play anywhere? Just maybe, I could challenge the typical career path. Nobody wants to be trapped, tied down and sucked into this corporate black hole. Everybody wants to do  something they love. Make a difference in the world. Contribute, have a dream, do something with your own unique set of skills.

So, how do I utilise my skills, my $60k student loan and do something with my life?

Before it’s too late…

Once you’re shacked up, that security, the need for a steady pay check, how about that mortgage, that responsibility. It is real. How risk averse are you now? You have no commitments, no house, no mortgage, no car. If you broke it down, how much do you need in a year to survive and thrive doing something you love? Why not make the most of it now? We are at University, we know how to live cheap, have a good time and get the most out of the day. So why not put that toward something useful. Hey if your pursuit fails and you’re still getting C’s I’m sure Uncle John will still put some interest free allowance in your piggy bank next week.

Think of it as a side project…

Right here, right now, at your fingertips you have it all. A wealth of resources. A pool of talented individuals. Interest free funding from the Government. What more could you need to create something you are passionate about. You don’t need anybody’s permission. I’m not advocating doing anything drastic. Something small. An inkling, an idea.
There is no need to quit your day job. Although I’m sure your schedules pretty busy with Netflix and catching up on the latest GOT after lectures. Have you ever added it up? There are 168 hours in a week. By the time you “study” for the week (50 hours), Sleep (56 hours) and Eat (14 hours). You still have a full working week left of 48 hours. What do you do with this time? How do you spend it? Imagine if you could start a business. Solve a problem that really annoys you. There’s an opportunity here to take this time and create your billion-dollar business on the side. Who is stopping you?

Disrupt your industry…

They tell us we do it this way because that’s the way it has always been done. As Albert Einstein understood it, “insanity is doing the same thing, over and over again, but expecting different results”. So tell me, if I do the same degree over and over again and then the same job over and over again, how might we improve the way we live work and play? You have no limits. What little understanding of your “industry” you have isto your advantage. Yeah you have nothing to stand on or no credibility. But did the 6 million people who visit the Mona Lisa every year ask Leonardo da Vinci where he got his degree in fine arts from? I think this paints the picture, no pun intended. You have the power to create stuff and change things. You can show the world you have a way forward.

Issue Five: Tiny House 6